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So you want to visit Eataly? Check the pepper scale first.

So you want to visit Eataly? Check the pepper scale first.
Photograph: Courtesy Eataly/Stefanie Keenan

When the Mario Batali- and Lidia Bastianich-fronted ode to Italian cooking finally opened its doors last Friday, the line of customers stretched down a long aisle of the Westfield Century City mall. For the next few days, a steady stream filed into the restaurants, food stalls, grocery aisles and wine shop of Eataly’s first West Coast hub, causing a rush that lasted hours; 10,000 customers visited over the weekend, which often meant lengthy wait times for not only seats at the restaurants, but entry into Eataly, period. 

L.A.’s lines range anywhere from 10 minutes to four hours. Let that sink in. If you want to visit Eataly, you could be waiting up to four hours. On average, 3,600 people visit per day, with roughly 4,000 to 4,500 guests on the weekend. That's a lot of competition for that plate of pasta.

Thankfully the team snapped to, and devised a rating system you can now find on Twitter if you want to stop by but fear waiting for a good quarter of your day. Meet Eataly L.A.’s Line-O-Meter, which periodically updates wait times by a ranking of hot peppers, because the restaurant is hot. You see what they did there.

Simply check Eataly L.A.’s Twitter feed to find out whether you'll be strolling through those large glass doors unabated, or standing by for more than two hours (eek).

While not in pepper form, the Twitter account also posts general estimations for its restaurants—Il Pesce Cucina, Rossopomodoro and La Pizza & La Pasta—which is handy, considering wait times for those alone can top an hour.

The latest update, as of 9:11am, is that there’s no line at the door. The word on entry to the Italian-food palace currently is:

So...we’ll see you there before the line forms again.

Eataly is located at 10250 Santa Monica Boulevard in Century City at the Westfield Shopping Center, and open from 8am to 11pm daily, downstairs; the market opens at 9am, and restaurants open around 11am.

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